How I Used To Dress (with Illustrations)


I recently looked through some old photo albums from my teenage years. Oh, the memories that brought back. Clothing in the conservative Christian homeschooling subculture, especially the quiverfull variety, is quite the topic. I want to use some pictures to illustrate some points here, but I blog under a pseudonym so I really can't use my own pictures, and I don't want to violate some random person's privacy by dipping into google images. So instead I'm going to use some pictures of the Duggars … [Read more...]

When You Grow Up Wearing Baggy T-Shirts . . .


I was fascinated by a recent post by Lana on clothes shopping as an ex-fundamentalist girl. So much of it rang so very true for me. I'll be writing more on this topic soon, but I wanted to start by quoting liberally from her wonderful post: You remember that scene in Tangled where the little girls have to fix Rapunzel’s hair up? That’s totally me in the clothing shop. I’m pretty sure most 8-year-olds know more about women’s clothing to me.I hate clothes shopping. It’s painfully difficult for … [Read more...]

Chocolate Cake Can’t Consent

chocolate cake

Note: After I wrote this post and slated it to go up today---I frequently write posts in advance and then schedule them---I noticed that Samantha of Defeating the Dragons had just posted an awesome look at it herself. Check it out. I recently came upon a Christian blogger explaining why she doesn't wear bikinis---using all the standard purity culture rhetoric of course---and this one paragraph really stuck out at me: Let’s try and put ourselves in a guy’s shoes. I think we can all agree that … [Read more...]

Ticking Time Bombs of Atomic Hormones


I've written a lot about my experiences being raised in what I call "the purity culture"---evangelicalism's obsession with the virginity and sexual ignorance of its young, an obsession that manifests itself in purity rings, purity balls, modesty teachings, and the rejection of dating. Some readers have asked what it's like for males growing up in the purity culture, and I've had to say that while I could guess, I honestly didn't know. Most of those speaking out against the purity culture have … [Read more...]

Women’s Bodies Are Not Male Commodities


Yesterday I came upon two interesting blog posts that discuss the way men's absolute fixation on women's bodies undermines their ability to see women as anything other than objects for their consumption, gets in the way of women being valued for their talents, interests, or achievements, and results in the policing of women's bodies and activities. One of these bloggers used The Modesty Survey to write about evangelical Christianity's modesty doctrine while the other used a the reception of a … [Read more...]

Awesome Comment Award: Tsara on “Girl Clothes”


Reader tsara left the following comment on a post about the modesty doctrine and rape culture: …seriously, guys actually think that women dress for them? What sort of thought processes do they imagine go into picking out clothing? For me it’s mostly‘is this clean?’‘does it more or less match’‘will my mother say it makes me look like an old woman with too many cats’‘would I get looked at funny for walking around the mall like this’‘is it comfortable enough to wear all day’ … [Read more...]

How the Modesty Doctrine Fuels Rape Culture


I feel a little sick right now, and a little foolish. You know how it is when you see something you didn't see before, and suddenly it's so obvious you can't believe you didn't see it? I've danced around a lot of this, but I've never felt its force so bluntly and so directly. Namely, the emphasis on modesty that I received growing up is the food and fuel of the rape culture. Sarah Over the Moon wrote not long ago about how complementarians benefit from and use the existence of rape, but this is … [Read more...]